About Us


Chef Dante de Magistris stays true to his roots offering traditional Italian classics in an inviting converted firehouse in the heart of Belmont.
The exposed brick, reclaimed wood and original fire pole create a rustic and fun environment for a bustling bar crowd and comfortable dining space.

il Casale boasts an extensive menu of century old recipes borrowed from Dante’s Nonna. The il Casale experience brings guests home to the family table that Dante and co-owning brothers, Filippo and Damian, grew up with. Classic cocktails and an extensive Italian based wine list complement fresh homemade pastas and small shareable antipasti. Specializing in Family style meals and exciting rotating menu specials, il Casale will keep you coming back for more.

il Casale is happy to help plan private events for any occasion, visit our private events page for more information.

Don’t forget to visit our brother restaurants, Restaurant dante, located in the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, and il Casale Lexington.

Chef Dante

Dante de Magistris is the Chef and Co-Owner of il Casale in Belmont, Massachusetts as well as Restaurant dante in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Raised in an Italian-American home in the Boston suburb of Belmont, Dante de Magistris always loved to cook. At the age of four, the Belmont Fire Department responded to the de Magistris home to put out a kitchen blaze created when the budding chef attempted to prepare stovetop eggs in Tupperware. His talent and technique evolved with age and by the age of 18 Dante was prepared to take his career to the next level.

Dante’s culinary journey is packed with unique and impressive experiences, including a sojourn in Italy, where he not only honed his own skills but touched the lives of those he met along the way.

After culinary stints in Bologna and Florence, the young chef made his way to the Amalfi Coast, where he debuted as sous-chef at Ristorante Don Alfonso. What happened next is the stuff of legends.

The chefs left Dante in charge while they traveled to France. While they were away, Michelin came to visit. The young “understudy” helped the restaurant win its third star in their absence, and won rave reviews of his own.

Returning to Boston with no shortage of praise and respect from his colleagues, Dante found himself working alongside some of Boston’s finest chefs, including: Michael Schlow at Café Louis, Eric Brennan at The Federalist, Lydia Shire, Susan Regis, and Daniele Baliani at Pignoli. However, it was at Micheala Larson’s blu in The Sports Club/LA, located in Boston’s Ladder District, that Dante mastered the art of sophisticated simplicity, turning blu into a major destination for discerning diners.

In 2006, Dante, along with his brothers Filippo and Damian, opened Restaurant dante in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to critical acclaim from Food & Wine and O Magazine, as well as being named one of Bon Appetit Magazine’s “Hot 10 Restaurants” of 2006, Boston Globe Magazine’s “Best of the New” for 2007 and winning Boston Magazine’s coveted “Best of Boston” award for Best Italian Restaurant in 2008.

At Restaurant dante, de Magistris has flawlessly established his culinary paradiso as one of the premier dining destinations in Boston.

Located in the Royal Sonesta Hotel, Restaurant dante takes a fresh, modern approach to traditional Italian cuisine with Chef de Magistris’ unique use of ingredients, innovative techniques and invigorating twists on Italian classic.

A true family affair, Dante works with his brothers at his side every day. Co-owning brothers Damian and Filippo are the General Managers at il Casale and Restaurant dante respectively, overseeing all aspects of each restaurant.

In April 2009, Dante and his brothers joined forces again, combining their expertise in food, wine and stellar service, to open il Casale in their hometown of Belmont. In a stroke of poetic justice; the rustic cucina Italiana is located in the old fire house which once housed the department that had responded to the blaze in his family’s home when Dante was a child.

il Casale’s talented team has perfected century-old de Magistris family recipes and created a menu that is equal parts traditional Italian comfort food and exclusive family classics. Separated into Sfizi (small tastes), Primi (appetizers), Secondi (entrees), Contorni (sides) and Dolce (dessert), il Casale’s menu is designed to create a culinary experience reminiscent of the way the brothers were taught to dine by their Grandmother.

Dante’s following as well as the extraordinary success of the de Magistris brothers premiere establishment, made il Casale amongst the most anticipated openings of the year. In the first months of being open, il Casale earned the attention and praise of national and local culinary critics, including being named in Esquire Magazine list of “15 Places Not to Miss”, and earning an almost unheard-of three and a half out of four stars from the Boston Globe’s Devra First, an A- from the Boston Herald’s Mat Schaffer, and two Best of Boston awards from Boston Magazine.


A Home for the Holidays
See how the de Magistris Family celebrates the holidays in their Vermont home.
– Boston Globe Magazine, December 2011
Check out the article.

Included in the Best 50 Restaurants of 2011

“During a particularly rushed meal at a particularly crowded restaurant I tested for our 50 Best Restaurants package, a well-known chef — who, for the purposes of this blog post, will remain nameless — descended upon the dining room, surveying the servers as they unloaded food onto tables. “Hurry up — the food is dying!” the chef exclaimed rather loudly. It was at that point that I felt my evening begin to wither, too.

My experience at Il Casale, however, was precisely the opposite. Though I didn’t happen to spot chef Dante de Magistris during my visit, the entire meal felt comfortable and relaxed — likely due to a combination of the rustic-upscale atmosphere (exposed brick, dimly lit chandeliers), the lineup of to-die-for pastas, and my kind waiter, who spoke softly but carried some excellent recommendations (e.g., the delicate branzino drizzled with truffle oil). I left the restaurant restored in both body and spirit.

There are many places in the area that serve superlative food. The challenge is finding the spots that make you feel good about eating there, too.”

– Boston Magazine, November 2011
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View from the Bar
“A very friendly spot in a renovated firehouse, il Casale is owned by chef Dante de Magistris and his family. Your begin with dense, spongy, but crusty homemade bread and a bottle of olive oil – keep eating it and you may not want to order. Then you’d miss a white bean and tiny Maine shrimp salad, Italian burratta (this really creamy mozzarella), or tagliatelle wutg a six-meat bolognese (add mortadella and pancetta to the usual lineup). We had the deliciously sudsy, red Villa di Corlo Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro with the tagliatelle, and the 2008 Cantini Filippi Soave is a fine match with the shrimp and bean dish. Belmonters tuck in early, so you’ll have the place to yourself after 9pm.”

– Boston Globe Magazine, November 2011
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Best of Boston 2011
Award Winner for
Restaurant, General Excellence, West

“The rustic ambiance of chef Dante de Magistris’s ode to homestyle Italian cooking belies the refined dining experience here. Service is warm and knowledgeable—and the food ethereal, from the tangy tomato bread pudding to the gnocchi with a basil-pistachio pesto that’s as fresh as spring.”
– Boston Magazine, July 2011
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Best New Restaurants
“Chef Dante de Magistris and clan opened il Casale in a former firehouse in their hometown of Belmont, and the restaurant feels like a family affair. Il Casale’s menu showcases dishes that were passed down to de Magistris; the restaurant is big, loud and convivial. Meatballs, octopus salad, ravioli primavera, and the freshest grilled seafood are among the dining pleasures offered, and you can taste the love that goes into them.”

– Boston Globe Magazine, June 2011
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Dining Out: Il Casale
“Simply put, dining at il Casale is very much like dining in Italy. The food is simple and abundant… You’ll write your own list of favorites here in short order. And you’ll wish – and wish hard – that il Casale were a short walk from your house, not just those of the lucky neighbors the chef grew up with.”

– Boston Magazine, October 2009
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Dante’s Paradiso
Mixing family and business has made de Magistris white hot.

– Boston Globe, August 2009
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Boston Globe Dante’s Paradiso 8 19 10 Best of Boston 2009 Award Winner for Best New Restaurant, West

“Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: City chef heads to the ‘burbs, ditches fine dining for comfort fare, and watched culture-starved locals pour in. Original or not, we’re smitten with il Casale, which opened this spring in Belmont’s old fire station. Maybe it’s because owners Dante de Magistris and brother Filippo and Damian grew up in the neighborhood. Or it could be the simple family recipes. Who cares? We just want some more of that gnocchi with porcini cream, burrata with pistachios, and fluffy tiramisu.”

– Boston Magazine, July 2009

Just like Nonna used to make. Simple food, elegant flavors at Il Casale

– Boston Globe, July 2009
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Devra First Review
“I loved a lot of restaurants this year, wantonly and casually, and then I moved on. il Casale was one I loved seriously; it’s a keeper. Chef Dante de Magistris and his family hit this one out of the park.”
3 & 1/2 stars

– Boston Globe

“il Casale – The Italian family table, only more delicious.”

– Esquire, October 2009
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“It’s refreshingly simple, surprisingly affordable and extremely delicious.”

– Boston Herald

“We ate at il Casale, Dante de Magistris’ new Belmont restaurant, where affinity and family-style cooking made for an unforgettable meal.”

– Improper Bostonian

“It looks like we’ll be spending a lot more time in Belmont.”

– Boston Magazine